Wednesday, February 20, 2019
     
"An investment in Knowledge pays the best Interest."

Ben Franklin's words still ring true today. So we pick out the most appropriate articles in current events and news regarding the Water Industry both nationally and in Kansas to filter the most pertinent information for you.

Weekly News - Feb. 11, 2019

02/11/2019 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Florence Closer to Securing Lease at Crystal Springs 
Florence city leaders last week indicated they are closer to resolving access to their sole source of drinking water at nearby Crystal Springs. Mayor Bob Gayle announced that a new lease agreement is in the process of being finalized. Council members then voted to have a special meeting exclusively for signing that agreement. The city has been leasing land with access to the springs for decades, but that lease was set to expire and city officials ran into problems negotiating terms for a new lease. Some residents had urged the city to use eminent domain to secure access. The special meeting will be exclusively for signing the lease agreement, but the council will set a future meeting to answer residents’ questions, Gayle said. “With all the effort that’s been put into this, that evening should be set aside just to do the lease,” he said. “We can talk about all the rest of it at a meeting, and I won’t retract it. We can talk about it very soon thereafter.” [source

 

Tracy Streeter Joins Burns & McDonnell 
Tracy StreeterIn his new role with Burns & McDonnell, Streeter will provide consulting and project development support for water resource agencies and municipalities with public water utilities. "My new role at Burns & Mac will allow me to continue to help folks, not only in Kansas, but in other regions. Everyone should feel more secure that clean, reliable sources of water will be there for generations to come," said Streeter in a press release. He served 33 years in positions related to water resource management, including 14 years as director of the Kansas Water Office (KWO), retiring from that position in December. [source

 

Oklahoma Town Wins Best Tasting Water in the Nation
Tahlequah Public Works Authority, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, claims the 2019 title of America’s best tasting drinking water at the 20th Anniversary of the Great American Water Taste Test, held last week, in Washington, D.C. as part of the NRWA Rural Water Rally. Douglas County Utilities, Montana System of Minden, Nevada won the Silver Medal with City of Clay Center of Nebraska receiving the Bronze Medal. Rounding out the top five were Rathbun Regional Water Association, Inc. of Centerville, Iowa and City of Sumas of Washington. These five water systems competed against 42 total entries from across the country, including WaterOne of Johnson County, which won the Kansas competition during the KRWA annual conference last March. [source

 

Hays Continues to Promote Water Conservation Programs
The city of Hays continues to offer water conservation rebates and giveaway programs for residents and businesses, including rebates for high efficiency toilets, high efficiency clothes washers and a turf conversion rebate. The city also offers free faucet aerators, three free types of efficient shower heads and four other models that can be purchased for $5 with exchange of old showerhead. With the third wettest year just locked into the Hays record books, and the U.S. Drought Monitor declaring the entire state drought free for the first time since June 2017, water conservation may be the furthest thing from residents' minds. “Don’t wait to the next drought,” says Hays Water Conservation Specialist, Holly Dickman. “Take advantage of the good soil moisture we have now to convert to a more drought tolerant landscaping in the coming growing season.” [source

 

Kansas Geologist Reveals Startling Global Spread of Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes
A University of Kansas geologist’s work in the remote High Arctic of Norway has exposed the startling global spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes — including multidrug-resistant “superbugs” — that could have dire implications for human health worldwide. Jennifer Roberts, professor and chair of geology at KU, said the team’s discovery shows multidrug antibiotic resistance is now global in nature. “We have to remember that we got antibiotics, like penicillin, from soil microorganisms to begin with,” she said. “Microorganisms have used resistance capabilities to overcome immunities in the environment for a long time, producing antibiotic-resistant genes that are considered natural and native. But with the use of manufactured antibiotics for humans and animals all over the world, we’ve seen rapid evolution of resistant genes. We found both native and evolved antibiotic-resistant genes in the Arctic. The concern is that with resistance spreading on this scale, we may be approaching a post-antibiotic era where none of our antibiotics work because the pathogens we’re trying to fight have picked up resistant genes via evolution or lateral transfer.” Roberts said the team’s findings show the importance of more careful stewardship of antibiotic use and the need for better treatment of wastewater around the world. “Our human and animal use of antibiotics can have impacts that are beyond ourselves and beyond our local communities — they are global,” she said. “It’s really important for us to start thinking of water system management and antibiotics use in ways that are global — and to start reducing and controlling some of the spread that is clearly not controlled at the moment.” [source

 

Nomination of Acting EPA Head Wheeler Moves to Full Senate
An 11-10 vote by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week sends President Trump's nomination of Andrew Wheeler to the full Senate. Republicans on the panel voted unanimously for the former coal lobbyist, who has led the EPA since Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics allegations last July. Wheeler’s nomination advanced despite questions by lawmakers from both parties about whether the agency would issue clean water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told lawmakers at Tuesday's session that Wheeler in recent days had assured her that the EPA would "look at all available statutory authorities" to deal with those substances, increasingly being found in public water supplies nationally and globally. The EPA says it will soon release a national management plan for the contaminants. Some states already are setting limits for the compounds in drinking water and are urging the EPA to set mandatory limits as well. [source

 

EPA and Army Announce Public Hearing on Proposed New WOTUS Definition
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army rescheduled a public hearing on the proposed new “waters of the United States” definition, which had been postponed during the partial government shutdown. They announced last week that the public hearing will be held in Kansas City on Feb. 27 and 28. EPA and the Army will also hold a public webcast (limited to 2000 participants) to explain key elements of the proposed revised WOTUS on Feb. 14. [source

 

Missouri Utility Picks Site for New Reservoir
Missouri American site for planned reservoir.Missouri American Water recently announced the utility will build a new reservoir in Newton County (MO) to address a growing water shortage in the Joplin region as experts forecast double-digit growth for the Joplin metropolitan area. Portions of southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma sit atop the Ozark aquifer, which is the main source of water for all but five communities in Southwest Missouri, but that aquifer is strained by the demand. The proposed dam will be located east of Interstate 49, south of Joplin, near Diamond. Missouri American plans to apply for a permit with the Army Corps of Engineers, a process that could take up to two years, with construction taking place between 2021 and 2023. The utility estimated that the proposal would affect 50 landowners and has indicated it will use eminent domain if necessary. [source]


Two Converted Victorian Water Towers With Secret Staircase for Sale in U.K.
Converted, red brick, Victorian water towers in the Essex town of Halstead.Two converted, red brick, Victorian water towers in the Essex town of Halstead are on the market for £1.6 million. The main tower boasts a two story glazed arch, exceptional brickwork and panoramic views of the town and rolling countryside from the roof terrace. [source

 

KRWA Training Calendar
 

Feb. 19-22: McPherson
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention 

 

Feb. 20: Salina
Distribution System Operations, LCR and RTCR

 

Feb. 27: Parsons
Surface Water Treatment: Production, Sampling & Technologies

 

Mar. 6: Mayetta
Surface Water Treatment: Production, Sampling & Technologies

 

Mar. 26, 27 and 28: Wichita
KRWA Annual Conference & Exhibition


Drought Monitor
The Kansas drought map remained "clear" for only a few weeks, as a small patch of abnormally dry conditions has been depicted on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, in Cheyenne County, in the northwest corner of Kansas, after expanding across northeastern Colorado and the Nebraska Panhandle, where little precipitation has been observed for the last couple of months. The "D0" or "abnormally dry" classification is used for areas showing dryness but not yet in drought. Not much precipitation is expected this week for those areas. The majority of the state, however, remains well above normal for precipitation for the last 60 days. 
High Plains detail from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Feb. 7, 2019.

Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central RegionSouthern Plains Region and State of Kansas